A Disturbing Statistic: Global Executions Hit 25-Year High

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According to Amnesty International says there were more executions worldwide in 2015 than in any year since 1990.

The report says 1, 634 were officially recorded as executed in 2015. It's the highest number in a quarter of a century.

China, considered the world's most prolific executioner, isn't included because the true number of people put to death is a state secret.

Only three countries are responsible "Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Together these three countries accounted for almost 90 per cent of all the executions that we recorded in 2015, again excluding China," says Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International Director for global issues and research.

In Pakistan a moratorium on the death penalty was lifted in the wake of the Peshawar school massacre.

Yet Amnesty says many of those who lost their lives weren't convicted of terrorism offences.

In Iran and Saudi Arabia the group says executions are being used for political ends.

The United States is fifth in the league of top executioners world-wide. Amnesty International says it's making progress. The 28 executions last year were the lowest since 1991.

Another four countries abolished the death penalty altogether in 2015. For the first time ever a majority of the world's nations - 102 in total - now don't have it at all.

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